Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Hating Thy Neighbor's Mess

So the hubby and I live in a pretty yellow house on Orange Street. Colorful, eh ? It is a really nice street. We and our neighbours really try to keep things nice. You know, the usual lawn mowing, flower planting, keeping our yards tidy and keeping our house value up by making improvements were needed.

Unfortunately, our back yard abuts a not so nice street that has quite a few rental properties on it. Why is it that some renters are so much less caring about how their homes look than home owners ? Don't they want to live in a nice environment , even if they don't own it ? Why is it that some renters are just plain slobs !!!!!???

This is the view from my big back deck :

What a mess ! It looks like the whole contents of a garage is dumped in the yard! It has been like this (and sometime worse!) for at least two years. The tree between us is growing which helps a little but this is the view we have whenever we use our deck. These neighbours hang out in their yard a lot, and they have a clear view onto our deck which makes me feel like I am being watched whenever I sit out there. They are also very noisy, use foul language incessantly (even in front of their kids)..... I could go on and on but that's too much rant as it is (not to mention the incriminating photo !). The noise and stuff is really hard to do anything about - they are just living their noisy lives and they do usually stop the noise by 11:00pm in the summer.... But the view ! That was something I was determined to do something about this year so I could use my own deck with pleasure and in privacy!

You can't build a twelve foot fence - maybe you can but that wasn't in the budget or the vision! The hubby and I decided on a privacy curtain - something that wasn't too permanent, didn't cost too much and would look okay from our side as well as theirs (see, we really are nice neighbours to have !) We used metal pipes screwed into flanges, a cable with a turnbuckle, some pretty outdoor table cloths cut to size and some shower curtain hooks to create this :

The next thing is to change the back of the bench to have less space in between the cross beams with means adding 2 more 1"X6"X12' to the span. That part of the project will be done tonight ! But I am happy with our handy work so far.

I finished the curtain yesterday and set to work by adding my plants to the deck. Hopefully, frosts are over ! Let the spring really begin ! I have seeded some babies in the house for a few weeks - cosmos and morning glories. I pulled our dahlia pots out of the basement where they slept for the winter. I also brought out the three year old hibiscus that graces my studio window during the winter and her new friend, the one year old mandavilla, that survived the winter indoors as well. I added a couple on pots of annuals as well, just for some color until the other stuff comes in. It still looks a little bare right now but some sun, some water and some time and my fun, PRIVATE summer time oasis will be in full bloom !

Mandavilla, sleeping dahlias, pansies

Daisy-like annuals (?) and cilantro seeds

Baby cosmos with pansies

Hibiscus with annuals


carolyn said...

Some homeowners are just as bad as renters and don't care how their property looks. I know this is true because I live on a nice quiet street in the 'burbs and the neighbors across the street own their house and had a large dumpster in their front yard for months! It is finally gone but now there are 4 overturned trash barrels and a bunch of random junk next to their garage. Their yard is an absolute mess . It looks similar to your posted photo. :-) I live right across the street and I don't enjoy gardening one bit but do like to have a nice yard so I have a flower garden in the front with bleeding hearts, phlox, hostas and my irises and peonies are just about to bloom, maybe this weekend. I planted them to make the yard look good, no other reason. I wish my neighbors would bring their barrels in after the garbage truck comes by. They leave them out for days after! I feel your pain Kim!
Your privacy curtain is a wonderful alternative to moving! You and your hubby are making the most of your situation and hopefully the renters will find another place to go.
Wow! Didn't mean to rant but I got all worked up! :-)

FAQ said...

Well, that is annoying huh? Our problem is that we used to have a big piece of land behind our back yard that the kids called "the mountain" they played on it,built forts etc. We had privacy. Then the college that is further behind us, built a huge softball field that is elevated so that no matter how huge our fence, when there is a game, which seems to be every weekend in the summer, you have loud music, announcers, and a whole audience that can see you if you were brave enough to go for a swim. Needless to say, we did not set the pool up this year. Oh, it makes me mad. Thanks for letting me vent. Heehee

deb did it said...

I love this idea...really wonderful...did they ever clean up their yard?